Adobe InDesign CC

How to make a flyer

Promote your next event with a flyer that grabs attention with colorful imagery, graphics, and attractive typography.

To view the completed flyer, open final-flyer.pdf.

1. Set up your document

Choose File > New > Document. Select Intent: Print, Page Size: Letter. Choose the Portrait Orientation. If you plan to create other flyers, create a Document Preset now: Click Save Document Preset and give it a suitable name.

Tip: Choose the Essentials workspace in the Workspace Switcher menu to display all the panels you'll need for this project.

Create a new document
Create a new document

2. Add a strong background image

Start by adding a colorful image to the flyer that fills the entire background. Press V to choose the Selection Tool. Choose File > Place > background.jpg. The cursor now displays an image icon; position it at the top-left corner inside the margin and click + drag to the bottom-right corner of the margin. The image fills the entire area and provides an eye-catching focal point. In the next steps you’ll use the photo’s composition to help you place other components in the flyer.

Tip:  Choose View > Display performance > High Quality Display to display artwork at the highest resolution.

Add a background image
Add a background image

3. Create the heading

Now you’ll add the large heading advertising the event. Press T to select the Type tool and drag to draw a text frame for the headline. 

Create a heading
Create a heading

To add the font from the Adobe Typekit font service, click Add Fonts from Typekit. On the Adobe Typekit page, click Desktop Use, and "League Gothic" then click + Use Fonts. Select Regular and Italic; click Sync selected fonts, and then click Close. The fonts are now synced and ready to use in InDesign. Return to the Fonts menu on the Control panel and select the formatting mentioned above.

Add a font from Adobe Typekit
Add a font from Adobe Typekit

Sync fonts
Sync fonts

Type Open mic night. To format the text, triple-click the text to select it; then click the down arrow in the Font menu on the Control panel. Click Apply Typekit Filter to view the Typekit fonts available on your computer. You’ll format the text as follows: League Gothic; Italic; Font Size: 60 pt; Leading: 72 pt. If you don’t see League Gothic in the list, see the note below.

Press Esc to finish formatting.

Use League Gothic to Format the heading
Use League Gothic to format the heading

Set the font options
Set the font options

4. Add the remaining text

You’ll start by creating a box to make the text stand out against the busy background, a common problem with photographs shot in natural surroundings.

Press F to select the Rectangle Frame Tool in the Tool panel, and drag a rectangle as shown.

 

Add text
Add text

Click the Fill popup menu on the Control panel and select Black; Set the Stroke in the Stroke popup menu to None.

Now you’ll lock the box to prevent editing it accidentally. Choose Object > Lock.

Set the text options and lock the text box
Set the text options and lock the text box

Press T to select the Type tool and drag a rectangle within the black box. Open event-details.txt from the project folder and copy the sample text, and then choose Edit > Paste.

Tip: It's easy to unlock locked objects for further editing; press Command + Option + L (Mac OS), or Control + Alt + L (Win) to unlock all the objects on the page.

Copy and paste sample text
Copy and paste sample text

5. Format the text to be readable

Press Command + A (Mac OS), or Control + A (Win) to select all the text. Click the Fill popup menu and select Paper. This makes the text white to stand out against the background. Click the Font menu and select a font for the paragraphs. Set the font size to 14 pt.

We chose the typeface Raleway, which is available via Typekit. It complements League Gothic and is easily read from a few feet away—a perfect choice for a flyer.

Format text for readability
Format text for readability

Drag to highlight text in the second paragraph and select Bold in the Control panel.

Apply bold to text
Apply bold to text

6. Add interest by colorizing some text

You can match the text colors to colors in the artwork to create a polished look. Select the Color Theme Tool in the Tool panel and click on a light-colored area of the image. This creates a popup color theme that’s based on the sampled color.

Note: The Color Theme Tool may be hidden beneath the Eyedropper Tool. If this is the case, click and hold the Eyedropper Tool icon and select the Color Theme Tool from the menu.

Colorize text
Colorize text

Click the right-facing arrow on the popup panel to view variations on the color theme. Select a variation, such as Bright, etc., and click a swatch to pick a color. To apply the color to the heading, drag over the text.

Use the Color Theme tool
Use the Color Theme tool

7. Add a QR code for details

A QR code lets you link to additional information such as an online RSVP, event details, etc. You can generate the QR code within InDesign. Press F to select the Rectangle Frame Tool in the Tool panel, and press Shift + drag a square as shown.

Add a QR code
Add a QR code

Click the Fill popup menu and select Paper. Press Command + L (Mac OS), or Control + L to lock the square.

To add the QR code, choose > Object > Generate QR code. Select Web Hyperlink and enter a complete URL in the box below; then click OK. With the cursor displaying an image icon, press Shift + drag a square to fit the white square below it.

Now your users can use a smartphone to access the linked page for more information, while your flyer stays clutter-free.

Generate QR code
Choose Generate QR code from the Object menu

Enter a complete URL
Enter a complete URL

8. Prepare to print your flyer

Choose File > Save and give the file a unique name. In addition, you’ll need to save the flyer in the PDF format to hand off for printing. Choose File > Export. Select Adobe PDF (Print), then click Save. In the next menu, select the High Quality Print Preset at the top; then click Export.

 

Save your file as Adobe PDF (Print)
Save your file as Adobe PDF (Print)

Export your file
Export your file

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